The Skymee Owl Robot is a fun and (it must be said) highly frivolous addition to a smart pet home. Treat dispensing will likely convince most pets of its charms, and it'll keep them busy while you're out, but don't rely on it as a security tool.
- Very solid camera with night vision
- Integrated treat dispenser
- Can be automated
- Great fun to play with
- Doesn't get on with all carpets
- Occasional connection issues
The Skymee Owl Robot is an unusual take on a pet feeder, to say the least. It's an equally unique pet camera. And it's a very different pet toy, too. It's a very strange and exciting object, and one which promises to keep you as entertained as it will your pet.
It has robotic abilities, with its twin wheels allowing it to scoot around everything from your living room to the garden to the park. The camera in one of the Owl's eyes allows you to remotely pilot it using your phone, or just keep an eye on your pets when you're not home. And those treats it spits out will surely endear the strange robotic creature to pets which might otherwise be a little wary. There's a good reason we picked this out as the most fun entry on our list of the best pet cameras.
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Skymee Owl Robot: Features
It's difficult to prioritise one of the Owl's features over another, but let's start with that which makes it unique: those wheels. They give the Skymee Owl enough purchase to roll on hard floors, carpet or grass, with the entire central portion of the unit counterweighted so it stays facing forward as the Owl travels. You can pilot it yourself, directing it to go forward, back, or turn using your phone, all while viewing what the Owl sees while you do it.
You don't have to steer it directly, though; you can set the Skymee Owl to roam around of its own volition, or plot an interesting path for it to patrol, and it'll avoid objects as it does so. That's a great idea for giving lonely pets a little robotic companionship, as long as there aren't too many steps around. You'll still have to plug it in to charge, though.
If your furry friends really bond with it, the Owl can switch to a mode where it generates its own Wi-fi network, which means you can pack it in a bag for some outdoor play (and to dish out a few tasty treats) mid-way through a walk.
The camera looks to be a fairly standard 1080p sensor, so not too exciting in terms of its resolution, but it offers a fairly unique viewpoint likely lower than your pet's eyeline. You can obviously use it to see where you're driving the Owl, but it's also possible to record footage through it, or just peep at what your pets are up to when you're not at home - if they're not happy, the Owl includes both a microphone and speaker, so you can calm them down with your voice.
Many of these features can be found in other pet cameras, and indeed in cheaper cameras which don't have a specific pet focus. but we don't know of anything with quite the same companionship and play features of the Skymee Owl.
Skymee Owl Robot: User reviews
Everything's fine in theory, but how does the Owl hold up in practice?
In many ways it's great. Most people seem perfectly happy with the standard of the Skymee Owl's camera, for example, and the test shots we've seen back that up: it's a high quality eye with good range and adept night vision capabilities. You won't have any trouble seeing what your little one is up to.
The wheels don't quite hold up to the promise, though. They struggle, it seems, to gain traction over certain carpets, so this is probably better suited to hard floors than it is to a '70s shag-pile lounge, and we'd likely recommend against the outdoor functionality unless you're playing on an immaculately tended bowling green.
Some users have noted that the Owl is a little larger than it seems in pictures, so it might be a little intimidating if you're buying it for a cat rather than a larger dog, treat dispensing or not. Depends on your cat, really; others have found theirs interacted with it fine, and some found their cat was utterly indifferent to it, which should honestly be the expected outcome when making any expensive purchase for a cat.
Even the most positive user reviews - and there are a lot - mention that the Owl is prone to occasional disconnections, and that Skymee's app is functional but not particularly special. That's not something that's too onerous if you're sat at home and piloting the thing manually, but it may mean the Owl Robot loses a few points as a remote camera if it doesn't get on too well with your wireless network.
Should you buy the Skymee Owl Robot?
If you're a dog owner and your hound isn't on the more destructive side of the spectrum, we could see the Skymee Owl adding a bit of much-needed companionship and interest to those days you can't be with them. Cats, too, might find it interesting - and even if they don't, you'll be able to roll it around and (low viewing angle willing) see precisely where they're sleeping today.
But it's an expensive thing that tries to do three things at once. If you're looking for a pet toy [link], there are numerous other options. A pet camera needs to be 100% reliable to stop you worrying for no reason; if this is, as some have suggested, a little flaky in that department, it might be best reserved for play.
We'd put this firmly in the 'disposable income' bracket. You don't need the Skymee Owl, but you and your pet will probably enjoy it.
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